Making Your Own Hot Chocolate Mix Is Quick and Easy

Hot chocolate in a white mug
janecocoa/iStock/GettyImages

Hot chocolate is a favorite with kids and not just during the winter months. Store-bought mix makes hot chocolate quick and easy, but making your own is every bit as simple and lets you customize the mix to suit your kids' (or your) preferences. A jar of homemade hot chocolate mix also makes a sweet small gift.

Fundamentally, hot chocolate mix consists of cocoa powder and sugar, but this recipe adds some bittersweet chocolate for a richer flavor. Choose a dark chocolate with rich flavor but not too much bitterness. One of the advantages of making your own mix is that you can add your own favorite spices and flavors such as vanilla, cinnamon or even cayenne pepper.

Total Time: 10 minutes | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, ideally between 60% and 70% chocolate
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups powdered milk 
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Chop or break the bittersweet chocolate into coarse chunks.
  2. In a food processor, combine the sugar, cocoa powder, powdered milk, chocolate and salt. Blend for about a minute or until the mixture is light and powdery. 
  3. Store the hot chocolate mix in an airtight container until needed. Hot chocolate mix should keep for around 2 months.
  4. Add 3 tablespoons of hot chocolate mix to warm milk or water and whisk thoroughly to make a mug of hot chocolate. 
  5. Top with whipped cream and grated chocolate, cinnamon or mini marshmallows. 

Tip

For a simpler mix with a smoother taste, leave out the bittersweet chocolate. You'll lose some of the slight bitterness, and you'll have a mixture you can simply whisk by hand without the need for a food processor.

Hot chocolate made with milk instead of water will be creamier.

After you've made the basic recipe, you can add ingredients to create new flavor combinations. Try adding the seeds of a vanilla bean before blending for a smooth taste, or give your mix a hint of traditional Mexican hot chocolate by adding a pinch of cinnamon or cayenne pepper. A pinch of ground espresso is another possible inclusion, but kids aren't often coffee fans so tailor your mix to your audience. Replacing some of the powdered milk with malted milk powder gives you a classic chocolate malted in hot cocoa form.

You don't have to change your mix to change the flavor of your hot chocolate. You can also add some ingredients when making it to give each cup a distinct character. For instance, you can add a drop or two of peppermint extract to a cup or even steep a mint tea bag in it for a few minutes to add a hint of freshness ideal for a wintry treat.